Food Waste Action Week

It’s Food Waste Action Week – a week dedicated to raising awareness of the environmental consequences of wasting food. Did you know around 1/3 of the food we produce worldwide is either lost or wasted, and 45% of domestic waste across Birmingham is food.  

We’ve seen a lot of food go to waste over the last year, with fresh produce being left to rot in fields, gallons of milk poured away, and supermarket shelves raided to stock up on supplies that may not have got used. We think it’s wrong that so much food is being wasted especially with so many people across our city are going hungry. 

Food Waste Action Week is an opportunity to promote activities that help make wasting food a thing of the past. At The Active Wellbeing Society, we work closely with allotments, supermarkets and partners, including Incredible Surplus (formerly The Real Junk Food Project Brum), to ensure that no food goes to waste. 

On top of the surplus food donations sourced by Incredible Surplus, on average, we collect 1400kg of surplus food every month. That’s equivalent to 1,555 bunches of bananas. We’ve been able to redistribute this food, that would otherwise have ended up in landfill, to people across the city through our Community Cafés.  

TAWS staff membersVicky and Joana, have been creating recipe kits that are made up of surplus food and seasonal produce. The kits are available to everyone, in particular, to people we’ve supported during lockdown, including those whove visited our Community Cafés to collect food, and want to try and make something of their own. 

Each kit includes all the ingredients and the recipe required to make a dish. So far, we’ve shared 238 kits to individuals, organisations, and schools, and they make a variety of delicious meals, such as apple crumble, scone-based pizza, pumpkin bean soup with dumplings, shepherdess pie, and dhal and chickpea and potato currywith more on the way! 

The recipe kits have been a great activity to do something different with others during lockdown. Jan has been doing them with her grandchildren 

‘It was good bonding – nice thing to do together. It was just easy and we had nice, healthy food... I think they’re fantastic and I’d like more of them. Anything that  is new, I’d love to learn.’ 

They’ve also been encouraging people think about food waste, 

‘I really appreciate that it’s surplus food that’s being used otherwise it would go to waste. I know in the recipes that there was butter that had been frozen to avoid further waste. Things like that are really important.’ 

Food accounts for 30% of household emissions across the UK. To try and reduce the amount of food wasted, we can think aboutwhat we eat, how we eat and where we get our food fromThere are many different ways we can do this, by batch cooking meals, eating more communally (when it’s safe to do so) and thinking differently about how to use up the food that we already have in the kitchen. 

To request a kit, fill in the form or email [email protected] for more information. If you have any dietary requirements, please let us know and we’ll try our best to create a recipe kit that’s suitable for you. 

Find out more about Food Waste Action week and ways that you can reduce your food waste to help the environment. 

Susan Keung
Author: Susan Keung